Feeds

Microsoft hands out tools to sneak Skype onto new PCs

'Silent installs' for victory, or at least growth

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft is eliminating the download experience from Skype for consumers by giving OEMs the tools to slip the VoIP client into PCs.

The company has released a Skype OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) for Windows 7, which you can find here.

The OPK is designed to give PC makers the tools they need to “silently install” Skype for customers, according to the OPK site.

Officially:

Traditional OEM Preinstallation Kits (OPKs) for Windows and Office contain a wealth of technical information to address numerous scenarios; they are designed to meet the needs of the wide range of OEMs who build PCs. The OPK contains everything you need to deploy Skype 5.8, including the installer application and instructions on how to silently install Skype for your customers.

A Microsoft spokesperson said of the kit:

We aim to make it as easy to access as possible – whether you’re at home in front of your TV or computer, at work in front of your desktop, or on the go with your tablet or smartphone. We want to make it easy for millions of consumers worldwide to experience Skype.

It’s a year since Microsoft splashed a head-spinning $8.5bn for the loss-making web telco. Since then, we’ve had Skype for Windows Phone and Skype in early versions of Windows 8, expected very soon as a release candidate.

Microsoft, though, seems to be targeting Windows 7 on the OPK, possibly based on the fact that it’s an already established feature on the PC landscape.

The idea seems to be to boost the addressable market for Skype and Microsoft's follow-on plans, by eliminating the potential barrier to adoption posed by waiting for consumers to hear about Skype from friends and family, then needing them to search, download and install the software.

The user base is Skype’s single biggest attraction. Its 600 million customers were surface-analysed to death one year ago by the media as having, er, huge "potential" for Microsoft. That's all it had. So far neither Skype nor eBay have been able to discover the hidden business model that might turn this nearly 10-year-old company into a profitable web telecoms business. Twelve months after Microsoft bought Skype, concurrent users are the new "potential": 40 million. That's some potential.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.